Vulnerability 


I’m sitting at the exit of a ride in Orlando’s Islands of Adventure. I’m waiting for my students to go through the line while I hold their mountain of bags and goodies. The ride is akin to Disney’s Splash Mountain, and it’s called Toon Lagoon. These details aren’t relevant. 

What’s been on my mind is the effect of the gut-wrenching screams being emitted from nearly every mouth as it is forced down a steep slope of watery adventure. These screams, though at times comical, are all communicating the same non-humorous message:
“I’m scared. I don’t know what to expect. What was I thinking? I want off this ride!!”
That’s vulnerability leaking out, people. And no one looks in alarm at the petrified 38 year old me who is screaming like a teenager. No one questions the fear. When you see the ride, you get it. It would actually be odd if people DIDN’T scream. 

What’s interesting to me is that this natural vulnerability should also be expected in our daily lives. So often we forgo the honest “I’m scared” and the real “I don’t know what to expect” for “I’m fine! How are you?” We push away the healing power of a good vulnerable “scream” and push down our hurts to, what? Save face? 
How’s that working? 
I think it would be cathartic, healing, monumental if we allowed ourselves to express truth, like that man being forced down on the wild ride by gravity. 

So, I’ll start!
Marriage, my next ride:
I’m scared. I don’t know what to expect. What was I thinking? 

But, I am still  so GLAD I chose to get on this ride.❤️

Disconnected Power Chord

I was getting ready to have a lengthy phone conversation with a friend today and I caught myself seaching for my bluetooth ear piece. Then I remembered that, even if I found it, I wouldn’t be able to use it: I lost the power chord many moons ago. 
How many of you have electronic devices that are now banished to the “unchargeables” pile? I personally have about 5 or 6 items that I can no longer use because their power source has run away. And it’s silly for me to hold onto them still, but I sense there is this hope in me that one day, I will find a way to recharge the item and behold its brillance again. 

But that probably won’t happen. Once something is lost in my home, it stays there, stubborning refusing to be found. 

This all got me thinking about the connection to when I feel “uncharged” or lacking a direct line to my Power Source (God). Sadly those moments can occur  when I get caught up in the chaos of life and the routines I have established each day. Life is hard. Humaning isn’t easy. Adulting is lame some days. Don’t get me wrong: I love being grown and alive!  I also recognize the challenges that exist in staying constantly connected to my “Power Chord.” Sometimes life gets in the way, and I don’t plug in. Then I find myself feeling the effects of a lack of connection to God much like my useless stack of electronic devices. 

Thankfully, there is no possible way to lose the “chord” that connects me to God. It will not ever be severed or lost, and I am so glad that is the truth. I often sit in awe of how God set up His systems: His rhythms are perfect. He knew there would be days (weeks…months..years) where His children would stray, be disconnected, or get caught in the waves of busyness. And yet! He provided a way back to Him. From the moment I welcomed God into my heart, He took up residence and chose not to leave. No matter what I do, He is there. 

One of my favorite lines from “Come Thou Fount” is 

“Prone to wonder, Lord I feel it. Prone to Leave the God I love.”

Right there! That’s it! I am prone to leave, to wonder, to get lost along the way. God knows that…and He provides a way back every time. 

Today I am thankful I will never spiritually be without my Source. The fate of my bluetooth head set is not so positive, but such is the life of man-made devices. Not with God though, and that’s really good news. 

“Here’s my heart Lord, take and seal it. Seal it for thy courts above.”

1: 180 (I MADE IT!)

180 is roughly the number of meals I have missed over the last 60 days.

 

It is also a number that is synonymous in American vernacular for a complete a total change. When we make a “180”, we are turning completely around. No longer facing the same direction, we are moving in a different one. No more facing the same giants or beasts, but now looking down a different path (hopefully armed with the proper tools and weapons to succeed).

A complete 180.

That is what I believe I have made over these last 60 days. And interestingly, I am surprised with how strong I have been. I knew in my gut that I would succeed, but my brain questioned my abilities the entire time. I KNEW I had made up my mind and was going to accomplish this goal! But in those tougher moments I wondered why I was “torturing” myself.

This wasn’t an easy journey. Some parts were very painful (like physically painful). Juicing through Thanksgiving sounded crazy (and it felt equally crazy, let me just be honest). But I did it. And I am better for it.

 

And now…on to my next big adventure. EATING AGAIN! Armed with new wisdom, a better sense of my abilities, and an excitement and craving for healthier versions of my favorite meals!

Operation: EAT TO LIVE is in full affect.

 

I. MADE. IT!

2: Weekday Vegan

As I said in my previous post, juicing is just the beginning for me. I have a long way to go as far as meeting my personal weight and fitness goals, but I feel I have accomplished a lot in the last two months when it comes to my relationship with food. Which, if you remember, was my original  goal. After educating myself on my options, I have settled on a decent plan for my next steps. I will be, what I am calling, a weekday Vegan. 

Knowing what I know now about animal products (meat, dairy, etc.) I recognize that many of those food items introduce toxins into my body that prevent my ability to discard visceral fat. As a woman, I will have subcutaneous fat at a higher level than a man. This is the fat that lines the body, and is a necessary protective layer. This fat, at some level, will always be there. But as you know there are very skinny people on this planet, so it is possible to have a very thin and healthy layer of subcutaneous fat. Visceral fat, however, is the fat that we do not need in excess. This fat pops up to protect our organs when our bodies feel they are in danger and need to be in protection mode. Your body is constantly in protection mode when toxins are being welcomed in. Toxins like processed food, some animal products and the like. Basically, any excess amount of food or drink that isn’t plant-based. The more organic and natural, the better for your health. So, in order to lose that visceral fat, my body must remain a place where toxins aren’t welcome on a regular basis. 

Enter: Veganism. 

Well, veganism Monday through Friday. 

I knowmyself well enough to know that I do not want to live in a world where I can’t ever eat chicken wings. if you know me, you know these are my favorite! So, I needed to figure out a way to limit my meats and dairy, but not set myself up for failure (and one epic binge session). I found several people eat vegetarian or vegan during the week, and allow for meats, cheeses, and eggs on the weekends if they crave it.  Now, it could be that the weekend comes and I do not want anything that is not on the vegan menu. And that is fine! I do not have to eat meat on Saturday if I do not crave it. The point is listening to my body and learning how best to fed it. 

I will continue to juice every Monday. I will have juice and smoothies for snacks or meals each day. This will ensure I am givng my body a chance to reboot periodically (flushing out toxins). I do not assume this plan is perfect or fool proof. But, I am hopeful. 

Hippocrates said, “Let  food be thy medicine, and  medicine be thy food.”

I think he was on to something. 

3: How Juicing Is Different

There are so many diets out there, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. If you have been alive (and a woman) for any amount of time on planet Earth, you have probably tried your hand at least 4 or 5 dieting options. Weight Watchers. Advocare. Low Carb. No Carb. All Carb (that’s not real, but it sounds magical). Low sugar. No Sugar. Cabbage Soup. Cookie Diet. Kellogg’s Diet. Atkins. South Beach. And that’s just the ones I have heard of or tried myself. There is no shortage of dieting options out there. And sadly, we are so uninformed about our bodies, we will eaily believe the next big fab is the panacea. Because, we want the big fix, the cure all. We want to rid our bodies of the fat that literally weighs us down. And we don’t know enough about that fat to know quite exactly how to get rid of it and prevent it from moving back in to our metaphorical basement like a 27 year old kid. 

So I started reseaching, and I have found that juicing seems to be different. I wouldn’t call it a diet either. Not unless you want to gain the weght back. I would call it a life style, which is really what I needed to change: my life syle with food. 

Juicing is not the end for me. In my next post I will discuss my next steps, but for now, I want to address what juicing does, and how a good juicing reboot can set you up for a successful life style change. 

For starters, when you do a juicing fast, you give your body a break. Your digestive system shuts down and starts  to repair itself. It flushes out waste that has been sitting dormant for a long time (remember that conpacted fecal matter I addressed yesterday?) and gets a chance to breathe. When we overwork any part of our body, it doesn’t perform at its best. And just taking one look at the average American diet, you can easily deduce that our digestive systems are overworked and under nourished. We don’t typically put the proper nutrients into our bodies to help heal them, and that is where juicing comes in. 

When you are consuming only natural, organic juice (no added sugars or animal-based products) you are sending all the wonderful vitamins and nutrients plants have to offer directly into your system. So, your body can repair damaged cells, provide energy, and build up your immune system. Juicing provides a way for you to start using your food as your medicine. It really is quite beautiful. 

If you’re interested in learning more, I recommend checking out some (or all) of the documenaries I mentioned in a previous post. Juicing is not a diet. It is not the cure all or big fix. But it is, as I have found, the most natural way for me to take God’s creation and use it to better my body (which is also His creation too)!

4: Juicing Tips

Here are some ideas/thoughts that came to my mind as I looked back on my process. Some of these I executed well, other I learned along the way.

  1. Get your hands on a good plant-based protein powder and add it to at least one juice per day (breakfast would be the best). I have fallen in love with Vega Chocolate Protein Smoothie
  2. Get a good, quality juicer. You cannot juice with a blender. That’s not a real thing. LOL. I was fortunate enough to get my blender from a friend at a very good price. But, there are several good options out there. I use the Jack LaLanne juicer and it’s very easy to use and clean after the first few attempts. Don’t skimp on a juicer. You want to get the most amount of liquid from your fruits and veggies, so pay extra to get the best if you can. If you cannot, use what your money will buy and don’t be discouraged. When I feel my pulp, it’s still kind of damp and that’s just got to be OKAY! =)
  3. To save on clean up, put a plastic bag in the discharge bin of your juicer. You’ll thank me later.
  4. If you’re juicing AND eating food at the same time, consider saving the remains from your veggies to make burgers, muffins, or breads. The goop from your fruit would taste great in some kind of muffin also!
  5. Document your feelings, measurements, what you’re eating, bowl movements*, everything. Take time to write it all down especially in the beginning. You need to keep track of your body rhythms, and trust the beautiful mechanism God created. It will tell you what you need to know if you’re listening. Trust it.
  6. In order to save me headache over washing so many cups, I ordered these. Sipping from a straw also helped make the juice last longer!
  7. Buy a good set of 12 mason jars. I recommend the ones that have the ounces labeled on the side so you can keep track of your intake each day.
  8. On that note, 64 ounces of juice a day is the recommend amount. I will say, some days I didn’t hit this mark, other I exceeded it. I was training myself to listen to my body, so that’s what I did. I believe it was a wise choice for me.
  9. Understand that a juice reboot is only the beginning of your new life with food. While you’re on your fast (however long) I recommend coming up with an exit strategy: your plan for eating once this is over. You cannot go back to your old habits if you want to see long-lasting results in your weight and you overall health.
  10. Ask for support. My greatest success was having people cheer me on. Also, people holding me accountable is always important to me. I need a group of folks to keep me going when I want to quit, and so do you!
  11. *Bowl Movements are tricky during a juice fast. Everyone has a different experience. If you have questions, ask. =)
  12. Consider doing a juice reboot for any number of days. You DO NOT need to do 60. I would recommend anywhere from 5-10. Days 1-3 are the hardest. By day 4, your body sets into plan B mode and starts working again with much more energy.
  13. Also remember that the first 5-7 lbs you lose are fecal matter, and you will gain those back once you start eating again (it’s just the way our body works). So if you’re doing this for weight loss, you need to remember it takes (on average) 2 weeks to start losing actual fat.
  14. Do your own research. I discovered a wealth of knowledge on the internet, but I had to find the VOICE I wanted to listen to. Everyone is shouting something, and I don’t necessarily want to hear it all. Tune in to a source that is reputable, trustworthy, reliable, and like-able in your opinion. You don’t have to like everything I like; that’s the joy of you being you!

5: Documentaries I Watched

As many of you know, this whole juicing journey started with one simple selection on my Netflix screen. I chose to watch Joe Cross’ Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead documentary from 2008, and I believe it’s safe to say it changed my life.

From there, I became fascinated with food-related documentaries, and there is no shortage of them on Netflix. So, below are the ones I have watched (and enjoyed) and would recommend to anyone who wants to start learning more about our bodies, our food, and our options.

 

  1. Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead
  2. Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead 2
  3. Vegucated
  4. Hungry for Change
  5. Fed UP
  6. GMO, OMG
  7. Food Matters
  8. Ted Talks: Chew on This
  9. Forks over Knives
  10. Engine 2 Diet

 

6: Preparation is Key

Seriously, the old adage is true: when you fail to plan, you plan to fail. 

The only way to successfully treat your body right is to plan to do just that. Prepartion is essential to success. We all know that in a pinch, we can convince ourselves to eat just about anything. And there is no shortage of quick, easy, unhealthy snacks available anywhere we look. These snacks and treats resemble food, but they are far from it. 
So, if you want to fill your body with healthy nutrients, and give yourself a fighting chance, you have to prepare ahead of time. This looks different for different folks and families. For me, it looks like grocery shopping on Sundy and portioning, prepping, and cooking all my meals for the week. That is my best option for success. But for others, there are varying techniques. The bottom line is this: make a decision ahead of time to choose what is best for your body, and you cannot fail! 
As the notorious Scar would say, “BE PREPARED!” 

7: Don’t Feel Guilty About Eating Food

Food is GOOD! Any wonder why food and good only differ by one alphabetical letter? I don’t fancy that a coincidence!

Through this journey, I have encountered a lot of people who felt guilt or shame around me when they were consuming food in my presence. I can understand feeling bad FOR me, in that you don’t want to tempt or torment me with something I cannot enjoy wih you. I appreciate the friends who have worked out ways to spend time with me sans food! Those have become new cherished memories for me! But I do not understand feeling guilt BECAUSE of me, in that my presence causes you to feel shame because you think I think food is bad. I assure you, I have never thought food was bad. Even when I decided to juice, I knew the problem wasn’t food, but rather my relationship  with it. 

God created our human bodies to NEED food to sustain life. It must then stand to reason that food has purpose, and that purpose is for our good. So, no guilt! No need for shame! Especially when we make wise decisions with the foods we choose to put in our bodies.

SO eat up, my friends! But choose wisely what you eat. Then, there is no room for guilt on your plate!
Danni

8: The Best Time To Do a Juice Fast

The point is that life is always going to be busy, and sacrifice is never going to be easy. 

Never. 

Always. 

Both. 
The truth is, there is never going to be a good or convenient time to do any length of juice fasting: every day and season presents its own challenges. Therefore, it stands to reason that it is always the best time to start! You can be confident that there will never be a more convenient time to start than today. 

It probably sounds a bit bonkers that I planned to juice through the most food-obsessed time of year (Halloween to Christmas) but I did! And I survived…so I know it’s possible. As a matter of fact, let me tell you what all I juiced my way through:

1. a tailgate party with the  most wonderful foods on Earth. A spinning hotdog machine was there!

2. A weekend camp in Ohio with the  most wonderful looking comfort foods

3. Halloween and all its glorious goodies

4. Thanksgiving. No need to explain.

5. Small group Christmas party

6. Jewish holiday food party (in class Friday)

7. Holiday party with 9th grade (FRIED CHICKEN and pizza everywhere!) …and cupcakes…

8. A trip to my hometown where my favorite pizza and ice cream live

9. National soup day (I missed all the soup at work!)

10. Countless lunches at work as I watched people eat

11. Going to the movies  twice with no popcorn (my favorite snack) or soft pretzels (my 2nd favorite).

I am sure I am missing some major events, but it doesn’t make a difference. The point is that life is always going to be busy, and sacrifice is never going to be easy. We are always required to make choices. Do you want to reach your goal by sacificing, or do you want to satisfy a temporary desire now?
There is ever going to be a convenient time to take care of yourself. Be it juicing or quiet time or cardio or a nap. It’s not going to come easily in any season. But in every season, it will be worth it. 

9: My Favorite Recipes

(People are always asking…so here you go!)
I am a creature of habit, so when I found something I liked in week 3, I stuck with it! This is also why I started taking Juice Plus supplements to ensure I was “jucing the rainbow” (which is the goal when juicing). I knew I was going to get stuck on what I liked, so Juice Plus has helped me reach my nutrient goals even when I lack proper will to vary my grocery list! When I started using Juice Plus, I noticed the biggest shift in my energy levels and my skin! This is also when the weight started coming off at more steady pace. 
My Absolute Favorite Recipe Ever (what I will probably eat for breakfast moving forard)

1 sweet potato

1 pear

1 yellow squash

1 zucchini

thumb of ginger

4-5 long carrot stalks

(I add Chocolate Vega Protein Powder to this and MY WORD kiddos, I don’t know what I did before this drink existed in my life!)
2nd Favorite (The Green One)

4 celery stalks

1 cucumber

1 zucchini

1 whole romaine heart

1 large apple

I would LOVE to help you if you have questions, so please don’t hesitate to message me or comment. I learned a lot about fruit and veggie combos that worked for me, and ones that I wish I could forget. Ultimately, know this: it comes down to your taste buds and your wants! Do not be afraid to play around with your juicer and some fresh produce. You might just discover something wonderful!
Danni

10: Relationships are (usually) built around food

In honor of my final 10 days, I will be atempting to blog my top 10 thoughts/lessons/ramblings about my juicing fast. 
To begin, at #10, let me just briefly discuss what I have discoverd about food and relationships. It has become glaringly obvious to me how much of my social bonding has revolved around food! So much, that at first, I couldn’t figure out how to spend time with friends while juicing. I was resigned to living a life of solitude for 60 days because my brain could not comprehend how to socialize without a meal being inolved. 

Thank GOD I am surrounded by people who appreciate quality time and just want to spend it with me! I have been overwhelmingly excited to learn the depths of true friendship when I have watched people go out of their way to plan events with me that do not involve eating. So even though my brain was struggling, I am glad close friends around me are far more creative than I am! I have been able to experience some very fun times and make great memories without eating one single thing. 

So,  special thank you today to those people who have made me feel more special than pizza and chicken wings: you’ve taught me more than you know! 

New Season, New Rythms

When I was going through a very painful breakup, I felt as though God was the closest He has ever been to me. I should say, I was the closest I have ever been to God (he never disipates in His closeness to us). I remember actually crying one day at how GOOD His presence felt: I was regularly overwhelmed with how content HE alone made me feel. It was a bitter-sweet time I remember desperately wanting to escape because of the pain of human loss. However, when I think back to that time, the sweetness of God’s constant presence far outweighed the burden of a broken heart. I just didn’t understand that at the time. 

Now, I am contemplating how to experience God’s sweet presence in a different season. I know our GOd is one who moves forward, not one to have us looking back with longing, so I know He isn’t asking me to go back to that particular place of brokeness, but I wonder, how do I enjoy His closeness when I don’t feel so desperate for it? 

In a new season, I must learn new rythms. I can’t help but question the beat and tempo of this particular time in my life. I miss the desperation I felt for God to heal me, but I do not miss the physical pain of brokeness. I miss knowing I could not make it through a single day without Him, but I do not miss questioning if I could make it through the pain. I miss the times I ran toward God with wreckless abandon, but I do not miss the endless tears. In all of this, what I miss most is my friend. I m not connecting with Him in  the sam way as I was then. I know He is the same. I know He is here with me. I just don’t know what our relationship looks like in this new season. 

New season, new rythms. I want to dance to the beat of His song, and because I know He is faithful, I know He will lead me to His arms. When I seek Him, I always find Him. And in Him, I find HOPE. 

Beating The Winter Blues

  Some call it Seasonal Depression. Others, Seasonal Associative Disorder (SAD). But mostly, we humans settle into a comfort zone of labelling this phenomenon: The Winter  Blues. 

No matter where I live, I find that the months of the year that are colder weigh heaviest on my moods. Admittedly, I have seen myself go from varying degrees of depression during the winter months, and I am nearly certain (and so is science) that the cold weather takes a toll on each of us in different emotional ways. Now, I know speaking about depression is uncommon, frowned upon, and socially damning in some cirlces. Thanksfully, I don’t run in those crowds. I find it’s best to be open and honest with ourselves about that which causes us to struggle, and also, give others the space to learn and grow from our transparency. 

I feel no shame admitting I get sad during the winter months. It’s my body’s natural reaction to the weather, and I can’t control that. What does bother me is thinking back on how I have poorly handled these feelings in the past, so moving forward, I am putting a plan in place to kick the Winter Blues’ frosty butt this year! If you’re interested in any of my information, just email me! (DanniTabor@outlook.com). I am a firm believer in community, and doing life together. I also believe that when we share our struggles with one another, we grow! 

Here is my plan for this winter:

1. Purchase a Negative Ion Generator plug in for my apartment (They are $16 on Amazon)

2. Purchase and use daily a full spectrum sunlight floor lamp (Lavish Home, silver, $40) This lamp gives off rays like sunlight and can help on the days when the sun doesn’t shine as much!(see image above) 

3. Work out 5 times a week (I dropped the ball on this one last year and suffered for it).

4. Schedule time with friends weekly. When I seasonally sad, I isolate, which creates a horrible cycle of sadness and solitude. Staying active, especially when I just want to be bunldes on my couch, ensures a better attitude. (I stil plan alone time because that’s needed, but 10 days in a row? No ma’am.)

5. The best possible nutrition. After my juice fast is over, I will be delving into the world of more fruits and veggies, and much less processed food. A healthy and balanced daily diet is key to keeping emotons healthy and balanced also. 
Do you do anything special to experience more joy during the cold months? Share in the comments! 

Juicing: 1 Week Update

  
Well, I have survived 8 days of juice fasting! Only 52 more to go!!! 

As I enter into day 9, I felt lead to give an update. I have learned a Bachelor’s degree’s worth of knowledge in these last eight days when it comes to my body, eating, and moving forward post fast. I have also tried and failed on some juice recipes, and then tried and succeeded! I am going to share some highs and lows in the following list. I have been journaling every day in the hopes that what I discover will help others who want to take control of their health and their eating in the future. 
1. I have lost 12.4 pounds

2. Most of that came off in the first 3-5 days (which is why I think everyone should consider a 3-5 day juice fast!)

3. Most of that is water and compacted fecal matter that lives in our intestines our whole lives. Seriously. When people say “you’re full of crap”, it’s true! 5-7 lbs of feces lives in your body, and if you’re not regularly cleansing, it’s just be reintroduced into your system! YIKES!

4. I have had extra energy and awareness this past week. 

5. I feel great. I found some nights I went to bed without drinking dinner. I have to be careful to make sure I get at least 64 oz of juice each day for proper nutrients and to avoid my body going into starvation mode. This was unexpected: I thought I would be famished. 

6. My biggest challenge was Saturday at a picnic/camping setting where I was surrounded by hot dogs, brownies, chips, and all the good tasting foods. I just had my green juice. I had to remember WHY I was doing this, and I made it through the event with more ease than expected. 

7. People are so concerned with how I am getting protein. It’s funny: we have been convinced only meat products contain protein and that is not truth. I have started adding Pea Protein to my morning juices and that has proven satisfactory. 

8. Checking the grocery store weekly ads is genius! I found out Kroger was having a huge sale on veggies and so I did all of my shopping there this past weekend. Previously, I was just blindly shopping and that broke my bank last week. 

9. I have SAVED money while juicing. Honestly. The amount of food I used to eat out is embarrassing. Since I am not doing that while juicing, I am saving a lot of money! Also, grocery shopping was easier yesterday because I was in one central location the whole trip! 

10. When this fast is over, I will be sticking to a mostly plant-based diet. Animal products hurt our bodies more than we understand, and though I love living in a world where burgers and steaks exist for my pleasure, I will be greatly limiting the intake of ALL animal products. 

11. I have watched some great documentaries on Netflix that I recommend if you’re interesting in anything I am talking about: Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, Forks over Knives, Hungry for Change, Food Matters, Vegucated. 

12. You will note I am doing all of this with a tiny fridge (see image above).

That’s all I have for right now!This week I am adding heavy cardio back into my routine. The plan is 4-5 hours of cardio a week. Can you hold me accountable? Ask me how it’s going if you see me in public!

I would love for you to send questions my way at DanniTabor@outlook.com. I feel a strong desire to help people who want to get started, or who have questions. I am doing a large amount of research on this to take back my life and ensure my children don’t have to experience the same unhealthy eating habits that I have wrestled with my whole life. 

60 Days: No Food

I have a problem.

Somewhere, in the midst of a world filled with bacon-wrapped cinnamon rolls and 1 pound Reese’s cups, I have become obsessed with food. I no longer find myself eating to live, but I live to eat. I methodically plan my meals hours ahead of time, sometimes thinking about dinner WHILE I am consuming lunch. In short, food has become an idol for me.

Food is good. Period. No way around it: God created it for good, and it is good. Food looses its goodness when people (me!) put it in a position in which it never belonged: on a pedestal (a batter and deep fried pedestal).

Most of the health issues that plague modern Americans can be prevented by the slimming of waist lines. But how in the world can we even begin to get smaller when everywhere, our portions and our hungers are  getting much, much bigger. For me, something has to change, and I am not foolish enough to think the world will be the one changes. So that means it’s up to me.

I have researched, consulted professionals, and prayed about this venture. After a lot of processing, planning, and thinking, I have decided to embark on a 60 day juicing fast. I started today, weighing in at a weight I vowed never to see again. (not yet ready to publish my current weight. Maybe in a few weeks…when it’s no longer true). =)

You see, here is the problem: I have an image in my head of what I think I look like, and when I look in the mirror I realize other people don’t see that same image. Because it only (as of now) exists in my head. I am walking around in an unhealthy fat suit that is blocking the me I see from the world. I have a history of weight issues, mainly, I like food, and that’s an issue. So my  goal for this fasting journey is to reclaim my control over what goes in my body, to examine how to live a balanced life style where french fries can get eaten without guilt of major consequence on occasion, and to loose excess weight by hitting reset on my metabolism.

I am nervous, but I am going to be honest with you: I know I will succeed. I am a warrior, and my will is stronger than any fear or doubt that will certainly come. I mean, right now, as I type this, I am lethargic and my head hurts badly. But you know what hurts worse? Losing a limb to diabetes like several members of my family. I can handle this  temporary pain if it means keeping my health.

I am putting this out in the world because I need support. As you will see below, I have lost major amounts of weight before. But I put it all back on when I don’t have support. So, if you want to be a part of my support team, comment on  this post. I need support, I need positive people to remind me why I started when I want to quit. The older I get the more I learn how important community is! I need a community of people to help me through these next 60 days!

So are you in? Want to be on my  team? It’s really hard for me to share this struggle, but I am convinced that transparency breeds healing. So…here I am, being transparent. Expecting healing! And I would love your support in that!

All my love,

Danni

190 pounds 2012
190 pounds 2013
juice sweet 16
Sweet 16 party…probably my thinnest
294 pounds 2006
294 pounds 2006
255 pounds 2012
255 pounds 2012

The Tension of Thinking for Yourself 

When I was in eighth grade, the world-wide web was just starting to become a world wide sensation. I remember gathering around a computer at my friend’s house instant messaging strangers from all over the world. I want to snatch my younger self out of that room for being in such a dangerous situation, but at the time I was completely unaware of the danger the internet exposed me to, so I was joyfully engaged in the activity with my friends. 
Fast forward some twenty years and the internet has quite literally taken over our lives and our way of living. I only “log off” when I am doing missions work in Guatemala, and even then, on my last trip, I caught myself vigorously searching for a connection whenever I went into town or some other location that wasn’t as remote as our compound. Disconnecting from the web is simply difficult, nearly impossible in 2015 America. And to me, that poses a bigger threat to our safety than those little eighth grade girls back in 1996 searching for connection on the blank canvas of the interwebs. 
The danger that exists today is one that we don’t often think about, simply because we are no longer fully thinking for ourselves. And that, dear readers, is the problem. The internet is a living organism that grows and thinks for us, and when so much information is available at my fingertips, why would I effortfully think for myself?
I see this happen in my world all the time. I am watching a movie and I want to know more about the actor. Twenty years ago, I would have called up a friend and carried on a meaningful conversation with him or her about the information I wanted to ascertain. Today, I unlock my iphone, turn to google, and find out every last detail about the actor, his divorce, every movie he has been in, and his dietary needs. I am inundated with information every single day, and in turn, I crave more information daily. Because it is so readily available, I expect to be able to find and know everything I want to find and know. This seems like a flawless system to live in, but I completely disagree. Where do I have the space and time to think for myself?
The greatest disservice we have given to this generation of learners is the lack of necessity to think for themselves. A great example of this happens in my English classes every single year. I assign work based on the reading we are doing in class. I ask the kids to figure out symbols in the novels and short stories, and I send them home hoping above all hopes they will pull the information from their beautifully creative brains. But that doesn’t happen as frequently as it should. And why would it? The internet is FULL of sources that tell and retell of every symbol, simile, and sound device ever used in a work of literature. Why think for myself when I can go to the interwebs and have other people and sources think for me? In truth, don’t blame my students for seeking out information that has been left behind for them to find: I understand the allure. 
Though academic discipline exists and is enacted for such plagiarism, I think the greater damage is the lack of practice these children get in thinking for themselves and creating opportunities to learn in solitude. There is a confidence that comes with figuring out something hard on your own. The great reward of discovery is snatched out of our hands when we are spoon fed everything we ever want to know with minimal effort. 
I love the internet, I really do. But I hate watching personal growth by thinking disappear with every passing keystroke. There has a be a balance in this age of technology where libraries have become museums. We need to consider making personal promises to ourselves and our children to think more, to challenge our brains more. As Oscar Wilde once said, “A man who doesn’t think for himself doesn’t think at all.”
Of course, a quick google search helped me find that quote. Such a beautiful tension we rest in….

Join the discussion below. Why do you think we rely so heavily on the internet? Fear of being wrong or something else?

Much Bigger Than Me

I have been thinking about God’s timing lately, and I am overwhelmed by how PERFECT His order is. He makes no mistakes, even when I do! I have been bursting at the seams about His perfect plans, and I realized that I need to share a piece of the story with my readers, so you can be excited too!

To begin with, let’s go all the way to December. Around Christmas, I realized that I really wanted to have my own website, a place where people could come and see the ministry that I believe God is using me for. The domain http://www.dannitabor.com was purchased by someone close to me, and the plan was to build up the website and get it launched earlier this year. That didn’t happen in the time I expected it to, and when I lost contact with the person who owned the domain name in June, I thought the website was lost too. I didn’t have the courage to reach out and ask for it initially, so I started planning other domain names. Nothing made me excited, so I quit that dream. For about two months I set down the desire to have my own website, and forced myself to think on some other way to streamline my ministry. Nothing made me excited.

Now to back track a little, in May I also reached out a friend of mine who designs t-shirts and I asked him to partner with me to make an “I Am Enough” t-shirt to feature on my website (that wasn’t being built yet). I didn’t hear back from my friend, and I forgot about the t-shirt idea.

In August, around the middle of the month, I felt unrest about the website and decided to finally reach out and try to get ownership of my domain. I spent my birthday weekend at City of Refuge in Atlanta, and I fell in love with the ministry RATL is doing there. Before I left, I planned to return! There is something happening there that I feel lead to be a part of, and I have to be honest, I NEVER planned to go on that retreat. If circumstances were different, I would have been spending my birthday weekend focused on myself and being celebrated. Instead, I was lead to spend the time serving other people, and I really believe that had God’s hand all over it.

When I got back from City of Refuge, that following Monday, I opened my email and found that http://www.dannitabor.com was officially mine! On Tuesday, I opened my email and the t-shirt designs were there, completed and ready to sell! By the end of the week, I had made a decision to start selling my “I Am Enough” shirts to profit The City of Refuge in Atlanta and launched my website for the first time.

If any of these elements would have worked out differently, I don’t think it would be so beautiful. These shirts, initially desired because I wanted to get the word out about my song, have now turned into something much bigger than me. I now want to get an “I Am Enough” shirt on every woman at City of Refuge, and I also want to be able to hand over thousands of dollars to the organization to support the ministry they are doing.

Can you imagine a young girl coming out of sex trafficking being handed a shirt that reminds her of God’s truth before she may even know WHO God is? Think about a woman, low, sad, scared, looking down at her chest and being reminded that she is fearfully and wonderfully made! And I know a t-shirt cannot solve the issues that might exist in a homeless shelter, but My God is the one who solves problems, I just want to provide some sense of hope. And I believe these shirts can do that.

This is much bigger than me. I look forward to the day I look back at this post and shake my head at how God exceeded my tiny expectations and showed out like only He can.

I am so thankful for His timing. It’s been a painful season for me, but I really see how He is already working it out for GOOD.

All my love,

Danni

P.S.: Below is the link to my original song, “I Am Enough”.

“I Am Enough” by Danni Tabor

Introducing www.DanniTabor.com

To say I am excited in an understatement. I feel like I am literally coming out of my own skin with GLEE and JOY as I type this message.

I have wanted to launch http://www.dannitabor.com for nearly nine months now. The process was slowed down a bit, but then just this week God opened some major doors! I am launching my website AND introducing the world to my I AM ENOUGH t-shirts! So much happening in a very short period of time, but God has been laying foundation for years now.

So, if you have a moment, please stop by my official page, http://www.DanniTabor.com, and see what’s going on. My prayer is that it continues to grow my ministry and bless others!

Thank you for always being a HUGE support of what God is doing in my life.

All my love,

Danni

I Am Enough T-Shirts!!!!!

Finally: I AM ENOUGH t-shirts are available!

Many of you already know this message is dear to my heart and I want people all over the globe to come to a place where we believe in our value and worth as we ARE and not as people say we should be. I know WHOSE I am, and that means I AM ENOUGH!

My amazing friend Kyle Sexton designed these beauties for me and I cannot wait to get them on people’s bodies! This message is TOO GOOD to hide!

So, I am offering a special deal to ANYONE, ANYWHERE who buys a shirt between now and 9/4/15 (next Friday) gets it for $10!!!! I will ship it to you if you’re not local! I don’t care where you live: I want these t-shirts floating around everywhere! Follow the directions and let’s work together to get the word out!

YOU ARE ENOUGH! Have a t-shirt that says it too!

shirts 1 shirts 2 shirts 3